Shohei Ohtani's indecision devolves into absolute chaos amidst online rumors

Baseball's most desired player was expected to decide on his destination on Friday but it has turned into absolute bedlam.

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels / John McCoy/GettyImages

The most anticipated free agent signing in recent memory could happen as early as today according to MLB inside Jon Morosi. Morosi reported on X Friday morning that Shohei Ohtani could have his new home sooner rather than later. As far as we know, the Atlanta Braves are not finalists for Ohtani and should be considered a shot in the dark to sign the international superstar. 

Ohtani’s free agent process was requested to stay private. Of course, MLB reporters and insiders were not going to stay silent about the potential biggest contract in free agent history. However, any information that has been “leaked” about where Shohei Ohtani will play baseball next season may not be that reliable. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs seemed to be the two ball clubs that were most interested in attaining his services. Atlanta has been added to the speculation list recently but it is strictly that, speculation. 

Dave Roberts made a mistake during the Winter Meetings and disclosed the Dodgers had met with Ohtani and that he was a “top priority.” Many wondered if this would harm LA's chances of signing Ohtani, given his clear desire for privacy. But Hoornstra reports it’s not believed that had any role in his alleged choice if a choice has even been made.

There is a list of known finalists and that includes the Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Angels, and Cubs. No mention of the Braves even though some say fans shouldn't discount the chance Atlanta lands him. I'd say be highly skeptical that the Braves are heavily involved in talks for Ohtani. More on that in a moment.

However, during the Winter Meetings, it was discovered that Ohtani met with the Blue Jays and they were heavily in pursuit of the Japanese phenom. After the news dropped that a decision was imminent from Ohtani, fans jumped to conspiracy theories. On Friday, they used a flight leaving Anaheim and heading for Toronto as proof he was signing with the Jays.

They even went as far as looking at the type of jet being requested and stating it is a plane Ohtani frequently uses. A Toronto based opera singer also shared that Blue Jays pitcher, Yusei Kikuchi, had reserved a table for 50+ guests at an upscale restaurant near the Rogers Centre.

About an hour or so ago, J.P. Hoornstra wrote on Dodgers Nation that he was told the Dodgers were not going to sign Ohtani and he was going to be a Toronto Blue Jay. This was a bit of a shock to many because why would a Dodgers site get the exclusive news before the team Ohtani is signing with?

After just a few moments, this was heavily debunked and ESPN reporter Alden Gonzalez reported that Ohtani has officially made no decision.

The Blue Jays are a finalist for his services but there has been no official notice of a decision as of yet. He makes sense for the Jays but also a slew of other teams, including the Braves. Many fans are clamoring for this saga to be over so that the rest of the league can move on with their business.

The Atlanta Braves have slowly been adding depth to their roster but haven't made any major moves since their 5-player trade with the Seattle Mariners. I imagine once the Ohtani spectacle ends, Atlanta can focus on any other major additions they have in mind.

With Ohtani wanting his free agent process to fly under the radar and Alex Anthopoulos working in mysterious ways, it could make for the perfect recipe for Ohtani to shock the world and sign with the Atlanta Braves.

Again, that is VERY unlikely but the Braves do check every box for Ohtani outside of his desire to be closer to home. However, with the Blue Jays being finalists, there's a chance that isn't as important as originally stated.

For this to happen, Alex Anthopoulos would have to make a very uncharacteristic move and sign a player for an insane amount of money for a long time. Ohtani would need to accept a shorter-term contract to make it work in Atlanta. On the flip side, if winning a World Series is at the top of Ohtani’s priority list, the Atlanta Braves is an incredible landing spot to achieve that goal. He certainly would make baseball's hottest offense even hotter.

We can all dream and everyone can agree that all 30 teams across Major League Baseball would love to sign Shohei Ohtani before entering the 2024 season, even the Atlanta Braves who typically avoid huge free agents requesting massive contracts. 

Braves fans and fans of baseball, in general, will have to continue to wait for a decision to be reached before judging what could have been. One thing we do know, this will be a record-setting contract in Major League Baseball.

I think fans around the league need to just take a breath and relax. A decision will be made in due time.

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